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3 Tips to Decide whether to Replace Your Metal Roof

Replace roof

Have you been putting off replacing your roof? Neglecting to replace your roof can cause issues with your home’s appearance, function, and value. Anything from leaks to major water damage can be the result of putting off replacing your roof. Many homeowners put off roof replacement because of cost, however, the long term cost of not replacing it could be even higher. If you’ve been asking yourself if you should replace your roof, the answer is probably yes. How can you be sure you need to replace your roof? Here are 3 tips to help you decide whether it’s time to call a qualified contractor for an assessment or breath easy for another year.

Roofing Contractor Magazine reported a  “steady, measured increase” in roof replacement for 2014, and the 2015 State of the Industry survey projects even more growth this year.

Inspect the Interior

The best way to evaluate the potential for a major roof failure is to check out the attic. Tom Silva from This Old House recommends doing your inspection on a sunny day. Check for any light coming in from the underside of the chimney and the stack vent. If you see light peeking through various areas or even one, it’s time for a new roof.  He also suggests checking the roof sheathing for signs of water leakage, moist spots or rot. If you assess these areas routinely, you’ll be able to catch any issues quickly and decide when it’s time to bring in a professional.

Consider the Age of Your Roof

Do you know the age of your roof? Age is one of the best indicators of roof replacement. The average lifespan of a roof differs for each material used. Metal roofing has a long life expectancy, usually between 20 and 40 years. Many of painted metal panels come with a limited lifetime warranty. Metal roofing also provides superior protection against hail and windstorms, which make metal roofs last longer than traditional shingles in areas prone to wild weather. 

Traditional shingles may only last between 10 and 15 years under moderate weather and climates. Wooden shakes can last 25-30 years but require a large amount of maintenance to make it that far. If your roof is nearing the end of its life expectancy, it might be time to have it inspected by a licensed contractor who can give you a good idea of future functionality. Don’t wait until your roof shingles look this bad to replace. You risk expensive damage to the interior of your house.

Examine the Exterior

If you’re still unsure about your roof’s integrity you can scan for a few tell tale signs. Silva suggests using binoculars to get a closer look rather than risking a fall from a ladder or causing more damage by walking on your roof.

Metal Roofs: Check for areas of chipped paint or rust on painted products. If you have a bare metal roof that is intended to rust like TRUTEN™A606 you may need to hire a professional to assess the integrity of an older roof. On metal roofs with exposed fasteners, check to see if there are any loose  fasteners or loose or degraded washers.

Shingles: Curled edges and bald or bare spots are telltale signs it may be time to re-roof. You can also check gutters for granules from the shingles that may have been scraped off by ice or hail. Shingles that are cracked or missing are also red flags for homeowners.

Shakes: Shakes are traditionally made from red or white cedar trees. They tend to crack in dry climates like the West or grow moss in more humid climate of the East. Scan your roof for broken or missing shakes where water could penetrate. Be on the lookout for mold and bugs that can damage shakes quickly. Individual shakes can be replaced but you’ll need a qualified professional for the install. Metal roofs protect homeowners for decades to come.

1/2" Corrugated Siding Panel

If you’re unsure of your roof’s integrity don’t hesitate to call a licensed contractor familiar with the specific material for an inspection. A failing roof can lead to a whole host of problems throughout your house. Your roof is the keystone of your house. Take the proper precautions to make sure it’s strong and functional to take care of you and your family for years to come.

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